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System enabling a user to monitor exposure to unhealthy volume levels from headsets

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000203284D
Publication Date: 2011-Jan-21
Document File: 3 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system which enables a user of a headset on any device to monitor the volume levels to which they are exposed and take action to change their behavior and listen to healthier volume levels.

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System enabling a user to monitor exposure to unhealthy volume levels from headsets

A potential source of hearing damage to a person is from over exposure to high volume levels from headphones on mobile devices. It is difficult for a person to determine whether a volume level is unhealthy and could cause hearing damage. Although at a particular time a person is comfortable listening to a certain volume level, the damage is caused by prolonged exposure to volume levels that are unhealthy.

Furthermore, a user adjusts the volume throughout the day, such in these two situations:
• A user adjusts the volume to accommodate the different volume levels of multimedia resulting from variations in recording properties. A user might turn up the volume level to listen to a quiet recording, but if the next recording is loud, then the volume level is inappropriately high.

• A user might adjust the volume depending on surrounding noise, making the volume louder in a noisy environment. If a user does not constantly change the volume, the volume setting might become an unhealthy high level.

Volume level is measured in units of decibels (db) and acceptable volume levels are below 85 db. [1] This scale is helpful to understand how loud 85 db is relative to everyday sounds.

Two known approaches help users listen to healthy volume levels:
• Limit the maximum volume level. A straightforward example is controlling the absolute volume level, such as implemented in current handheld devices. A more complex solution is for the headphone itself to control the maximum volume level so that if the device were to create an unhealthy volume, the headset would reduce the volume to a healthy level. [2]

• Monitor the volume level. In one device, the specific purpose is for parents to monitor the volume levels of headsets used by young children. [3] The headset measures the volume level and triggers a light when the volume level is unhealthy. Noticing the signal, parents can accordingly adjust the volume level. To note, it is a drawback that the signal is available only when the volume is too loud. If the parent does not notice it at that time, the occurrence remains undetected.

The disclosed solution enables a user to monitor the volume levels to which they are exposed and is relevant to users of any devices with headsets. Specifically, a user reviews charts representing the history of the noise levels to which they are exposed throughout a day. The solution provides a more detailed monitoring than other solutions and allows a user to become more aware of their listening habits. The charts are intended for a genera...